The Lotto-Belisol squad wore this new lid at last Sunday's Tour of Flanders.

For better or worse, it looks like aero road helmets are here to stay. Though they may look like a prop from of a bad science fiction movie, this year they've rapidly become the brain-protector du jour for the professional peloton. At last Sunday's Tour of Flanders, aero road helmets (or some variation thereof) from Lazer, Specialized, Giro, and Scott were all spotted at the start line in Bruges.

For the uninitiated, the goal of these sometimes garish lids is to reduce the separation of air flowing around and over the helmet, yielding smoother airflow and less drag. Lazer, for example, claims that its new Helium FAST with Aeroshell in place is 4-10 watts faster at 28mph compared to the standard Helium helmet.

This new Lazer offering stood out more than most, thanks to the event- appropriate Lion of Flanders graphics that adorned the Aeroshell of the helmets worn by the Belgian-based Lotto-Belisol squad.

Lazer calls the new offering the, "ultimate combination of light weight and aerodynamic performance" thanks in part to the added reinforcement of the Aeroshell, which means less material is required in the manufacturing of the helmet.

By removing all the outer cosmetic material along with some of the foam support structure, the Helium FAST is claimed to be 56 grams lighter than the standard Lazer Helium helmet.

Lazer's Rollsys retention system keeps things in place.

Other highlights of the new lid include Lazer's Rollsys retention system, a seven-piece in-mold construction, dual-density EPS foam, and 19 vents with internal air channels for maximized airflow, though those obviously get covered up when you attach the Aeroshell.

The new helmet also utilizes Lazer's Magneto eyewear system, where glasses stay in place via the use of magnets on the straps. This eliminates the need for traditional eyeglasses temples that can cause pressure against the head, and inhibit airflow into the helmet and around the head as well as interfere with the rear retention system of the helmet.

These new brain buckets wont be available to the public until November, and there is no word yet as to when the models from Specialized and Scott will go on sale. That means you still have time to decide whether the claimed performance benefits outweigh the fashion penalty.